This Central Boiler outdoor wood boiler review includes information about the brand’s EPA certified residential models. Features and Central Boiler costs are included.
If you’re just beginning research on wood furnaces and boilers, then our Outdoor Wood Boilers and Furnaces Guide is a great place to start. The comprehensive guide includes general information about how these systems work with hydronic/boiler and forced air indoor systems and how they can meet your home’s hot water needs too. Features, performance and cost data are included.
Like competitor Heatmor, Central Boiler is a Minnesota company. It began in 1984, and today is recognized as one of the best outdoor wood furnace brands. Boilers are manufactured in Central Boiler’s 300,000 square foot modern production facility.
EPA Certified Residential Boilers
Both are called furnaces, and that can be confusing. The term “furnace” is used for both boilers like these and for units that burn wood to create hot air for the indoor forced air system.
This review focuses on the Classic Edge and E-Classic. We briefly mention Central Boiler non-residential wood, coal and biomass units below.
Central Boiler Outdoor Furnace Features
These are full-featured units that provide versatile heating for your home, outbuildings, domestic water, pool, spa and more.
Domestic Hot Water Heating
Your wood boiler can easily supply your home’s hot water needs. Water from the boiler doesn’t mix water in your pipes.
With the installation of a water-to-water heat exchanger like a plate exchanger, heat from the outdoor wood boiler (OWB) is transferred into the water circulating through your water heater and indoor pipes.
Gasification is the process of burning the smoke vapor that is released when wood burns. The smoke is a fuel that contains a lot of heat that would otherwise be wasted. Gasification is also called secondary combustion.
All Central Boiler models for residential use are gasifiers. The technology allows them to burn efficiently enough to pass the EPA certification.
The process of gasification is fully explained in our Wood Furnace Buying Guide and in this video from Central Boiler.
Gasification wood boilers use up to 50% less wood than wood furnaces not approved by the EPA.
Stainless Steel Firebox
The Classic Edge Series uses stainless steel in the firebox to prevent corrosion. This is necessary because highly-corrosive carbonic acid is a byproduct of wood burning. The stainless steel is strengthened with titanium for durability.
BTU ranges are from 170K to 245K, but the water capacity range is larger – 150 to 410. This means you’ll be able to fit a furnace to your needs. Need for water capacity goes up with distance to your home, heating more than one location (home, garage, second home, outbuildings, pool, hot tub) and heating domestic hot water.
Gas Ignition Option
The E-Classic Series offers an options gas-fired wood ignition kit that eliminates the hassle of manually starting your furnace.
Spray-on Urethane Insulation
There are several advantages to spray insulation. It is airtight, waterproof and keeps its insulation value (R-value) over time. Fiberglass doesn’t have these properties.
Central Boiler’s FireStar combustion controller, “monitors all functions of the furnace and optimizes the gasification process automatically.” The FireStar is Wi-Fi enabled for monitoring and controlling the furnace from any computer or mobile device.
Central Boiler has four two-tone color options including one using REALTREE camo.
Both series are backed with a 25-year warranty covering the firebox and water jacket. The warranty must be registered at the time of installation for you to receive full coverage.
Where to Find Central Boiler Furnaces
Central Boiler has one of the largest networks of distributors of any brand. Here is the company’s Dealer Locator.
The following table summarizes the Central Boiler Classic Edge and E-Classic models, their capacity and other features.
|Model||Classic Edge 350||Classic Edge 550||Classic Edge 750||E-Classic 1450||E-Classic 3250|
|Heating Area (sq.ft.)||2,000 sq. ft.||2,200 sq. ft.||3,500 sq. ft.||2,500 sq. ft.||3,500 sq. ft.|
|Fuel||Wood only||Wood only||Wood only||Wood only||Wood only|
|Firebox Size||10 cu. ft.||14 cu. ft.||24 cu. ft.||15 cu. ft.||32 cu. ft.|
|Firebox Length||28 inches||33 inches||37 inches||32 inches||40"|
|Workmanship||25 years||25 years||25 years||25 years||25 years|
|Corrosion||25 years||25 years||25 years||25 years||25 years|
We’ve completed tables for each of the major outdoor wood boiler brands, and they make brand comparison very easy.
Other Central Boiler Furnaces
Central Boiler makes units that burn corn/pellets or do not meet EPA regulations. They’re called non-residential and commercial furnaces.
Maxim M255 PE corn and wood pellet furnace: Also called a biomass furnace, this unit has a 90G capacity. An 11-bushel, 600lb hopper feeds the furnace. It’s a good choice where corn or wood pellets are abundant.
Classic Titanium Series wood furnaces: Available in 4 models from 140G to 764G. These are traditional wood burners, but not efficient enough for EPA certification.
Forge Outdoor coal furnaces: 150G/150,000 BTU and 210G/350,000 BTU models are available for use in coal country. Some states allow burning wood in coal stoves. Check with state regulations before burning wood in a coal stove.
Central Boiler Furnace Prices
Prices vary from one dealer to another, so shop around when you can. Also, the cost of living where you live will affect costs.
|Model||Furnace Only||Supplies & Installation||Total Installed Cost|
|Classic Edge 350||$8,200-$8,750||$600-$2,000||$8,800-$10,750|
|Classic Edge 550||$9,950-$10,700||$750-$2,250||$10,700-$12,950|
|Classic Edge 750||$11,800-$12,600||$800-$2,400||$12,675-$15,000|
Installation costs vary by how you use the boiler – just heat, heat and hot water, multiple buildings – and what type heat exchangers are needed.
Also, Central Boiler made a Classic Edge Series that does not have a titanium/stainless firebox. While not in production, many are still available from local dealers at a cost of $1,500 to $2,200 less than Titanium Series models.
EPA-certified wood furnaces are considered high-efficiency heating units, and wood is a renewable resource.
As a result, you might find rebates and credits from your state. Your local wood furnace retailer should be aware of rebates. You can also call your state’s energy office or search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSire).
Get the Best Price on a Central Boiler Furnace
There are several ways to lower your cost. State rebates are a good start.
Dealers often lower prices by 10% to 25% to clear inventory during the spring and summer.
Shop around for the best price, but pricing is quite competitive. First, most manufacturers set an MSRP that most dealers stay at or below. Secondly, the dealers know that you might also be considering a conventional furnace for your home, and their cost is much lower.
We don’t recommend trying to save money on installation. You don’t want an installer cutting corners or safety measures to give you a lower price and still make a profit. Find an experienced installer who will do the job right. It will save you money on repairs down the road.
Doing some of the work yourself can save you money. Your furnace will need a concrete pad of the proper size and 4” to 8” thick. Mixing bags of concrete onsite and leveling the pad with a 2×4 can be easy. Tutorials like this video are available.
You could also hand-dig the trench for the underground supply and return pipes.
Experienced DIY enthusiasts can save all the labor cost of installation by installing the furnace. Most wood boiler manufacturers have installation manuals and how-to videos for you to follow.
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